A two-wedding weekend to remember
My reason for writing this column is to educate my readers on a plethora of life safety issues. Fires, motor vehicle accidents and medical emergencies are happening every day. However, every once in a while, I get to write about something different. I recently attended two weddings, one that I officiated and one that I was invited to as a surprise guest; the first in Virginia and the second in West Virginia.
The wedding in Virginia was at 1 p.m. and the West Virginia wedding was at 2 p.m. The Virginia wedding was a picturesque setting at a home in Powhatan. It was one of the nicest weddings that I have had the pleasure of being a part of.
The interesting moment occurred when the wedding was over. I jumped in my truck, took a couple of non-drowsy, motion sickness pills, and drove to the Chesterfield Airport. Awaiting me there was the pilot of a private plane from Pittsburgh who had checked 150 miles of pipelines south of Pittsburgh on his way to Chesterfield. We walked straight to the plane, put on our seatbelts and headsets, and off we were, headed to Yeager Airport in Charleston, W. Va. There was not a cloud in the sky, which would make one think that it was going to be a smooth flight. The pilot told me that this particular type of Cessna aircraft had a top speed of 160 mph. Because of a 30-knot tailwind, he flew to Chesterfield at 250 mph. He then informed me that that same wind would be our headwind all the way to Charleston. To say we had a bumpy ride is an understatement. In fact, being totally transparent, those motion sickness pills that I took did not have enough time to work. The scenery was spectacular. Flying in a private aircraft is a very interesting experience. We arrived at the Charleston Airport and had a perfect landing.
After exiting the plane, my pilot escorted me inside and introduced me to the person who would drive me to the wedding reception. He drove a black car, was in a black suit and opened the door for me. Believe me, I have never experienced this before. Curvy West Virginia roads were not quite as bad as a 30-knot headwind, but when your insides have been flipped upside down, you get my drift. We arrived at the location, and my driver opened my door. The DJ for the reception met me, along with my wife, who had traveled by car a few days earlier. The DJ hid me away until I was supposed to pray over the meal. The bride had been working on this surprise for her new husband for months prior to the wedding. I have never been anyone’s surprise until this moment. After nearly being seen by the groom about five times, my entrance was announced. I made my way to the table of the bride and groom, and my good friend Sam (the groom) came around and hugged me. I don’t know if the surprise turned out like the bride had hoped, but it was a special moment for me.